After ongoing harassment, American billionaire cuts funding to right-wing Israeli group

Arthur Dantchik announces he will no longer fund Kohelet Forum, saying it’s “time for Israel to focus on healing and national unity.”

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

After intense protests and backlash from left-wing activists, an American-Jewish philanthropist will no longer fund an organization that helped develop the framework for the ongoing judicial reform legislation.

Arthur Dantchik, who is worth some $7.5 billion, came under fire from opponents of the judicial reform due to his financial support for the Kohelet Forum, a right-wing think tank that is ideologically aligned with the Likud and Religious Zionist parties.

“Throughout my life, I have supported a diverse array of organizations that promote individual liberties and economic freedoms for all people,” Dantchik said in a statement to Calcalist, after announcing that he would cease funding to the group.

“Nevertheless, when a society becomes dangerously fragmented, people must come together to preserve democracy. I stopped donating to think tanks in Israel, including the Kohelet Policy Forum. I believe what is most critical at this time is for Israel to focus on healing and national unity.”

Dantchik, who is notoriously protective of his privacy and has never given a media interview, was subject to months of public protests due to his financial contributions to the group.

Left-wing activists held noisy protests outside of his offices in the Philadelphia area as well as at his home and synagogue in an attempt to pressure him to cease funding to the Kohelet Forum.

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One protest at Dantchik’s office was so disruptive that police were called to the scene. Officers threatened to arrest demonstrators in the building’s lobby unless they left the premises.

In March 2023, an umbrella group of anti-judicial reform activists took out a full page ad in a Philadelphia-area newspaper. The ad featured Dantchik’s face under the word “Shame!” and a caption that read, “Neither you nor your children will bear the consequences for the disastrous agenda you’re promoting in our country. Get your hands off our democracy!”

Notably, the group that paid for the ad, UnXeptable, is composed of Israeli expats, all of whom live abroad and many of whom have not lived in the Jewish state for years.